LASTING TRANSITIONS

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For the Love of Grapes

A few days ago I arrived to the other school I work for out in the faraway countryside expecting to teach eight subsequent classes back-to-back like I always do, but I was given a delightful surprise: the whole school staff and students were to pick grapes at a local vineyard for a few hours. I love picking grapes and it has been almost customary for me to pick grapes every harvest season wherever I am in the world, so I quickly jumped on the chance and hitched a ride with my co-teacher and some students. We were very excited.

Students and I excited about picking grapes

It had rained significantly all morning, but it stopped briefly during our drive to the vineyard. However, by the time we arrived, it started raining again. There was no turning back. The kids were very anxious to pick grapes, heck, so was I! Nothing was going to stop us, well, maybe a few muddy hills.

Mud hills to the vineyard

Mud hills to the vineyard

We had to hike up a very muddy hill using a very rotten, poorly constructed wood staircase that served to cause us more trouble than convenience. A few students slipped and got fairly dirty, and then started to cry, but their frowns quickly dissipated amid the action of picking and eating grapes with their friends.

Daegot Town Vineyard

Daegot Town Vineyard

Daegot Town Vineyard

Daegot Town Vineyard

Catching rain and picking grapes

Catching rain and picking grapes

The entire vineyard was on the last leg of its harvest. Most of the grapes had been picked and shipped away already, but the last two rows of the vineyard had been saved for my elementary school. On behalf of the school, it paid the 6000won ($6) price for each student and staff member to pick up to 8-10 clusters of grapes; not a bad deal. Not to mention the permission of picking them yourself and gaining a unique, fun experience.

The "famous" Gimpo Grapes

The “famous” Gimpo Grapes

The ‘Gimpo Grape’ is locally-famous, and is quite similar to the Concord grape found in Massachusetts and the U.S. Northeast. Their taste is subtle and sweet, and while they are pleasant to eat, they make an even better jelly, and more than that, a heavenly grape juice.

I happily scrutinized a myriad of grape clusters and bagged about 10-11 of the most plump and beautiful ones I could find. Of course, these would not all be for me, I’m all about sharing my love for grapes with others. Several of my friends, colleagues, and of course Michelle, all received some of these tasty grapes and I hope they enjoyed them.

Kindergartedn kids picking grapes

Kindergartedn kids picking grapes

Students and teachers picking grapes

Students and teachers picking grapes

Students picking grapes in the rain

Students picking grapes in the rain

We were joyously grape-o-holics for a day. All the students and staff had a blast. Even though it was steadily raining, umbrellas were practically unnecessary as the high-installed vineyards provided a thick covering and ultimately did not impede anyone’s love of grapes. It was definitely a fun time to remember for everyone.

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2013 by in South Korea and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.”

~Euripides
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